I met a lovely Indian lady named Nisha a few years ago and she invited me into her home and taught me some basic Indian cooking skills. Her family has always cooked everything from scratch and all their recipes have been handed down the generations.

They are absolutely the picture of health. This isn’t one of her recipes (they are top secret!) but it’s an adapted quick version and one of my most frequently cooked family meals. The spices (especially turmeric) is highly anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and act as a digestive and the split peas give a good hit of fibre and plant-based proteins. A deliciously nourishing and well-balanced meal.

Recipe by Brittany Darling, Accredited Nutritionist + Herbalist.

Yellow Split Pea Dahl

Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Vegan (Optional)

Serves 6. 


  • 3 tablespoons of ghee or butter

  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely grated
  • 1 red chilli (I use bullet chilli but adjust to your spice preference), thinly sliced with or without seeds
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds*
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds*
  • 1 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder*
  • 1 tsp. garam masala *
  • 1 1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds*
  • Small handful of curry leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas*, soaked overnight (can substitute chana dhal*)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock/broth*
  • 1x 400g BPA free tin diced tomatoes
  • 1x 400g BPA free tin coconut cream

*available at Naked Foods


    1. In a large pot on medium heat, melt the butter, oil or ghee.
    2. Add the onion and cook until soft and transparent.
    3. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and stir well.
    4. Add all the spices and cook for 2-3 mins. Stir occasionally.
    5. Add the tin of tomatoes and cook for a further 2-3 mins.
    6. Add the tin of coconut cream, broth and split peas. Stir well.
    7. Cook for 40-50 minutes on low-med heat until the split peas are soft. You may need to add more broth if it starts to look dry.
    8. Serve with steamed rice or wholemeal roti and lots of fresh coriander.

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